When I was brain storming ideas on what to make for this party, I knew I wanted to make tie dye themed cookies with my sugar cookie recipe but it wasn’t until my friend Amanda suggested I use t-shirt cookie cutters that the idea really came to life!
The t-shirt shape of these cookies paired with the tie dye design make them impossible not to love!
A video posted by Betsy @ JavaCupcake.com (@javacupcake) on
Making these tie dye cookies shouldn’t be limited to just a tie dye party! They’d be great for any celebration to add a bit of color, flair and deliciousness!
Let me know if you try them! I’d love to see how your creations turn out!
Tie Dye Tuesday - Tie Dye Cookies
Yield: 4 dozen
Prep Time: 4 hours30 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours36 minutes
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 kilo confectioners sugar
10 tablespoons meringue powder*
180 mL water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
Wilton gel food colors
New paint brushes
Vodka or other clear liquor
In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter and shortening together until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
Add the sugar and beat on high until incorporated.
One at a time, add the eggs and beat well after each addition. Mix on high for 1 minute until pale yellow and fluffy.
Mix in the vanilla.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Add this mixture to the butter and sugar and mix until just combined.
Cover with plastic and refrigerate 2 hours or over night.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 F degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
On a floured counter, knead the dough 2-3 times until smooth. Roll out cookie dough to about 1/8" thick. Cut out tshirt shapes with a cutter and place on the cookie sheet 1" apart. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
Bake for 6-7 minutes or until the edges are SLIGHTLY brown. DO NOT OVER BAKE!!
Allow to cool on the pan for 1-2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Place powdered sugar, meringue powder and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until combined.
Add most of the water, reserving a few tablespoons.
Add vanilla and mix on medium-low speed until ingredients are combined.
Add more water if needed... you're looking for a medium consistency similar to soft serve ice cream on the verge of melting. Scrape bowl. Mix for 5 minutes on medium-low speed.
Immediately cover icing in an air tight container.
In small bowls or a paint tray, mix a dollop of gel coloring with a slash of vodka until you reach a thin paint consistency.
Fit a Wilton #4 (or small round) tip on a disposable piping bag then fill with royal icing.
Pipe a thin border of icing along the outside of the cookie then fill it in with more icing. Use a toothpick to smooth out the icing and pop any bubbles. Tap the cookie on your work surface a few times to level out the icing.
Dip your new & clean paint brush into the desired color of dye and gently paint it onto the still wet icing. It's okay if it spread out on the icing, that's the look we're going for. Make sure not to completely cover the icing with color you want to leave some white to show through. Paint the dye in tie dye shirt like patterns.
Use a toothpick to pull the color around the cookie. Start from the edge or the center and pull the toothpick across the cookie. There is no right or wrong way to do this! Have fun and experiment.
Allow the cookies to set/dry overnight. Store in an air tight container.
For your convenience, here are a few of the items I used to make these cookies!
You don’t actually have to tie dye to host an exciting and fun Tie Dye Party! Learn how to throw a colorful, fun tie dye themed party with these decorating ideas, themed desserts and party games!
In this second week of my Tie Dye Tuesday series, I’ll be sharing with you how I hosted a tie dye themed party with my family and friends. The ideas in this party could be easily transformed to suit any birthday, seasonal, baby shower, or themed party you’re hosting!
I knew that I wanted everything to be tie dyed when it came to the decor and look of this party. I also knew that I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg making or buying the supplies for that. So, I decided on a few high impact decor pieces that would really set them theme for the party.
I created a table cover for my dining room table by tie dying a 100% cotton white twin size bed sheet. This was the perfect size sheet to cover my 6 person table. Later in the party, I was able to use the dyed sheet as a photo back drop for family pictures.
Below is the technique I used to fold and dye the sheet to get this pattern. For a complete tutorial on how to tie dye, you’ll need to check out my DIY Tie Dye Shirts tutorial Instead of shirts, use a sheet and follow the below instructions on how to fold and tie it. I used raspberry, blue and orchid for colors, but you can use any colors you want. I suggest using at least 3 colors for the most dramatic effect.
Folding & Banding Technique:
Fold a 100% cotton white twin size top sheet into thirds the long way, then thirds again until it created a square.
Pinch the center of the square and began twisting until all of the fabric has created a spiral.
Tie 6-8 rubber bands across the spiral. For a visual, see this tutorial.
Soak in soda ash solution.
When dying, make sure that each color is next to a different color. For example, do not put two pinks together.
Since the fabric has been folded so many times, open the creases of the fabric to ensure that the dye gets into all the layers of the sheet. If you don’t do this, when it opens up you’ll have more white than color.
Since I had several tie dye shirts on hand, I decided to display them on the walls of my living room as decor. I fastened bakers twine to two reusable hooks on either side of the largest window in my living room. Using clothes pins, I attached the shirts across the twine to look like bunting! I love how the sun shined through the shirts really bringing out their vibrant colors.
It really made a WOW factor when people walked in because it was in their immediate line of sight from the front door. This tie dye bunting could be done with any size shirt that has been dyed.
Not everything needs to be homemade. I had these red lanterns and yellow tissue paper tassels from a previous event and put the two together and hung them in front of my staircase to just add another place where a pop of color could be seen. Use whatever you have already in your house to create pops of color.
In addition to making the food tie dye… I picked up these fun tie dyed plates and napkins from the party section at my grocery store. If you can’t find these exactly, an assortment of colors or any bold colors would work perfectly!
And of course, I had mason jars everywhere to add more color to the room! For this jar, I filled it with an assortment of paper straws from Sweets & Treats Boutique.
This fabric garland is made from 4 100% cotton flour sack towels that I dyed then cut into strips. If you aren’t familiar with a flour sack towel is, it’s simply a light weight towel that doesn’t fray. It gets its name from the days when families used to bring home their flour in large 50-100lb bags and once empty, they would cut the bags into towel size and use them for cleaning around the house. These towels are the perfect size and texture to make a fabric garland! Plus, they are very inexpensive.
It doesn’t really matter what designs or patterns you dye the towels. The only suggestion I have is to make four different patterns so that the colors don’t lay the same on the garland.
After the towels have been laundered, fold them in half then cut into 1-inch strips. Tie each tassel around a piece of rope or twine (I used bakers twine). These four towels made a garland that was about 8 feet long, but you can make it as short as you’d like. If you space the tassels out wider the garland would be longer.
Overall, this tie dye tassel garland made a great backdrop for my dessert table!
Tie Dye Desserts
The party I hosted was an afternoon party, so a meal wasn’t necessary. I decided on a tie dye themed dessert table that centered around a tower filled with two dozen cupcakes and a mini cake topper… all in tie-dye theme!
NOTE: Recipes for all the desserts will be on the next 4 Tie Dye Tuesdays!
So make sure you come back to see how I created all of this deliciousness!
Tie Dye Cake: Using a box cake mix, I divided the cake into 6 colors and pour them into two 6in round cake pans creating a tie dye look. I covered the entire cake in classic buttercream and used rainbow candies to decorate the outside of the cake. A simple, fun way to create a tie dye cake! Topping the cake is a super cute tie dye shirt bunting. All the details to make this cake including the recipe & bunting printable will be available in an upcoming #TieDyeTuesday!
Tie Dye Cupcakes: To complete the tower, I used the same dyed cake batter and made cupcakes in bright liners from Sweets & Treats Boutique. I made 4 cupcakes in each color and arranged them on the tower in rainbow order. I absolutely love how it all came together!
Tie Dye Marshmallows: Along with the cupcakes & cake, I made homemade tie dye marshmallows! These were a surprise to my guests and they could not believe I had actually made my own marshmallows. The process was quick and easier than I thought possible and the end result were the most delicious little cubes of marshmallow goodness!
Tie Dye Cake Pops: My favorite dessert of the party were these cake pops! Although cake pops are my nemesis, they tasted so good! If you’ve been a reader of mine for a while, you’ll know that I despise making these little buggers… but I love eating them! Going along with the theme of the party, these cake pops were filled with tie dye cake and covered in rainbow sprinkles! YUM!
Tie Dye Trix Treats: It can’t be a party with out rice krispy treats. Well, not exactly rice krispies… but Trix Treats! I used Trix cereal to create a more colorful marshmallow treat for this party! A couple of people asked to take the extras of these home cause they loved them so much!
Tie Dye Sugar Cookies: I’m most proud of these tie dye sugar cookies! I’m not one to make sugar cookies with royal icing, I’m a buttercream girl… but I was not certain I could create the look I was going for with buttercream. My husband actually helped me create the tie dye designs on these t-shirt shaped sugar cookies and I think they turned out so amazing! Everyone at the party loved them and they fit the theme perfectly!
Tie Dye Drinks: Since there was so much sugar to eat, I wanted to keep the drinks simple. I made orange, red and purple ice cubes using unsweetened Kool-aid powder to color the water before freezing in ice-cube trays. Each person put three colored cubes in a cup, poured in Sprite, added a fun paper straw from Sweets & Treats then enjoyed as their drink changed colors! So much fun!
Tie Dye Activities
During the party, I had two individual activities and one group/family activity planned. The two individual were at-your-own-pace pace projects while the group was during a specific time. All of them worked perfectly for this party!
Tie Dye Butterflies: Since I didn’t actually want to dye anything at my tie dye party, I still wanted to have a tie dye craft that any age could do. No dye needed to make these super cute tie dye butterflies but they have the tie dye effect!
Dropper or baby medicine syringe
Watercolor paint or watercolor markers
Crafting pipe cleaners
Plastic plates, trays, baking sheets
Set up all your supplies on a table in easy reach of the kids. I used mason jars to hold the markers and all the various supplies. Place a tray or plate where each person will be making a butterfly. You’ll need something to catch the extra alcohol.
One baby wipe at a time, tie rubber bands in knots all around the wipe. Use the water-color paint or markers to color each section of the wipe making sure to get into the cracks.
Using the dropper or syringe, squeeze a few drops of alcohol on all the places you added color.
Untie the rubber bands and unfold the wipe. You should have a beautiful tie dye design!
Lay or hang the wipe to dry.
Once dry, bring together the center of the wipe and attach a clothes pin. Draw a face on the pin.
Fold a 4-5in piece of pipe cleaner into a V shape and twist the ends to create antenna for the butterfly. Attach it at the top of the clothes pin above the head of the butterfly.
Tie Dye Lollipops: The kids LOVED the end result of this project. And although there’s only one ingredient to make them, these tie dye lollipops are a crowd pleaser!
Jolly Ranchers hard candy in various colors, smashed into pea sized chunks.
Baking sheet with parchment paper
Oven heated to 225F degrees.
Draw circles at least an inch apart down both sides of the parchment paper. Flip the paper over so the sharpie won’t touch the candy.
Have each child place any combination of colors of crushed candy onto a circle making sure the circle is full of candy.
Once the tray is full, bake until the candy begins to soften and melt… about 4-6 minutes. Watch the candy carefully because if they melt too much the suckers will get too thin and run all over the pan.
Allow to cool completely on the pan before removing. Enjoy!
Colors Scavenger Hunt: Each family was given this Colors Scavenger Hunt Sheet (click that link to download and print) and were given the direction to, as a family, find an object that was completely each color on the chart outside in the neighborhood. This could be done indoors too if it’s not nice outside.
Once they found the item, they were to take a “selfie” or a family photo with the kids or parents with that item. Once each family was done, they met back at the party for a prize!
When each family came back, everyone was rewarded with their own set of tie dye socks. I didn’t make these, but instead bought them at the store… they were too cute not to incorporate into the party! These are most of the toes that were at the party! Babies, Moms, Dads and Kids!
Tie Dye Family Photos: While each family was out on the scavenger hunt, I took the large tie dyed table cover and hung it from a large opening in my living room. As each family arrived back from the scavenger hunt, I had them stand as together for a family photo. The day after the party, I sent every family a copy of the picture as a THANK YOU for coming!
Welcome to Tie Dye Tuesday! Starting today and for the next 6 weeks, every Tuesday will be all about Tie Dye! I’ll be teaching you how to create beautiful tie dye shirts, table covers & fabric garlands as well as tie dye cupcakes, tie dye cake pops, a tie dye cake & tie dye shirt cake topper, tie dye marshmallows, tie dye cookies and finally a tie dye party!
You may be wondering why tie dye? I have to give all the credit to my sweet neighbor Amanda because she is the tie dye queen! This is Amanda and her beautiful family all in tie dye at my tie dye party (that’ll you’ll read all about in the final installment of this series). She has been tie dying for years and has learned all the best ways to create vibrant, beautiful shirts and agreed to teach me everything she knows.
Today’s DIY Tie Dye Shirts tutorial comes from all of Amanda’s experience and expertise! Thank you Amanda for taking the time to teach me! I am so excited that your passion has now become my passion and something we will share and remember for ever!
But first things first, we need to learn to tie dye! If you want further details on this technique, visit the Dharma Trading, Co website. All the dyes and further instructions can be found there for Amanda’s technique.
Once you’ve got the supplies and learned this technique… anything is possible!
Like these baby onsies that Amanda made. Aren’t they about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?
And my family of tie dye shirts. One for Dave, Me, Matty and Emily!
I even made a tie dye fabric garland and a tie dye table cover for a party!
I also used this table cover as a family photo backdrop which you can see in the picture of Amanda and her family above!
So, let’s get started!
DIY Tie Dye Shirts Tutorial
Anything that is white & 100% cotton like a t-shirt, tablecloth, sheet, etc
Soda Ash (Wasch soda in German):
Soda ash is the active ingredient in washing soda. The chemical name for it is sodium carbonate and is more basic, that is, less acidic, than sodium bicarbonate or baking soda. The purpose of sodium carbonate is simply to increase pH. Soda ash mixed with water should be used as a pre-soak when tie-dyeing with fiber reactive dye. If you don’t use enough, the dye won’t yield full strength. Caution! The soda ash solution is mildly caustic – it can irritate your skin. Wear gloves and eye protection. Rinse off at once to avoid eye and skin irritation.
Fiber Reactive Dye
There is no better dye for natural fabrics than Fiber Reactive Procion type Dye. Yes, you can buy dye from the craft or grocery store but it will not yield such bright, brilliant colors as the fiber reactive dye does. This dye creates permanent colors that don’t fade, even after repeated washings. After learning this method, I will not tie dye any other way!
Dharma Trading Co. has 130 colors of dye to choose from at reasonable prices. No, they didn’t pay me to say this but from the experience I had using their product and by how much Amanda raves about this dye, I don’t need to try anything else. Dharma also has starter kits which include everything you need to dye on small and large scales!
Prepare your supplies by getting them all out. Pick your colors of dye.
Put on the face mask & gloves. Prepare the soda ash wash by combining 1 cup of soda ash per gallon of warm water. One gallon will soak 10-12 adult XL shirts.
This is the fun part! Plan the design you want to create and then start tying the rubber bands on your shirt! There are many books & tutorials already on the web to help you pick a design, so I’ll just link you to a few here, here and here.My favorite technique that Amanda taught me is the giant swirl. Simply lay your shirt flat then decide where you want the center of your swirl to be. Pinch the fabric there then start twisting it so the fabric wraps around itself. Tuck/fold the edges in and wrap rubber bands across the entire roll of shirt. Place the bands all ways across the shirt. For more details & step-by-step photos on how to create this look, check out this tutorial.NOTE: The tighter you tie your rubber bands, the more white will show at the end. So if you want a lot of white, tie tight and if you want a little white, tie loose.
Soak the tied garments in the soda ash wash at least 20 minutes but can be soaked longer. Squeeze out the garment so it is damp but not dripping. You can reuse solution until gone.
While the shirts are soaking, prepare the dye in the squeeze bottles according to the manufactures instructions. TRICK: If you don’t have a funnel, bend a note card into a funnel shape and secure with a piece of tape to create a funnel to scoop the dye into the bottles.
Scoop the required amount of dye (here’s the guide for Dharma dyes) into the bottle and mix with warm water.
TIP: Start with 1/3 a bottle of warm water, place the cap and lid securely on top, then shake the bottle to mix the dye. Once mixed, fill the bottle with more warm water.
Place all the bottles in a bucket or similar to transport and keep from spilling on things you don’t want dyed.
To dye the shirts, you’ll need something to catch the extra dye. Here we’ve used a large rubber bin and a piece of wire fencing. A tin foil pan with a cooling rack would work the same. Really, any type of setup like this would work.
Starting with one color at a time, squeeze the color onto the shirt. The rubber bands create separation in color and will remain white under. Be creative and have fun with this part. There is no right or wrong way to place the color.
TIP: Make sure to get into the cracks of the shirt to ensure that all layers of it get colored.
Place the completely colored shirt in a ziplock bag and set in another bucket. They will need to soak overnight.
After they have set overnight, it’s time to rinse out the dye. The easiest way to do this in a bathtub with a detachable shower head, but a utility sink would work well also. Remember, this is dye so it will stain!
Using COLD water, rinse out as much of the dye as you can while the rubber bands are still on the shirt. Squeeze the shirt several times to help press the dye out.
Once most of the dye has been rinsed, remove the rubber bands to reveal your hard work! This is the BEST PART!
Seriously, it’s so awesome to open up the shirt and be amazing, surprised and awed at what you just created!
Once all your shirts have been rinsed, wash and dry them normally in your home washer & dryer. As long as you followed these steps and used the fiber reactive dye the color should not fade!
My favorite part about learning to tie dye has been wearing my creations. I’ve never made my own clothes before, let alone clothes that are bold in color and eye catching! Dying these shirts inspired me to do this blog series and in the coming weeks I’ll be showing you cupcakes, cookies, cake pops, a cake and cake topper, homemade marshmallows and how I made the garland and table cover! So make sure to come back next week for more tie dye fun!